Who knows more about the ultimate work tote than the ultimate "working woman"? That woman, of course, is Hillary Clinton; just consider the sheer amount of traveling, public appearances, and straight-up running around the presidential nominee is currently responsible for. With campaign demands so high, it's inevitable that Clinton would need a handbag that can keep up and hold up — while simultaneously looking damn good. And while plenty of people have acknowledged the former Secretary of State's wardrobe power moves vis-a-vis her suit collection, many have overlooked the one item we can all relate to: the carryall Clinton's been toting across the country.
The gray leather Coen Bag, by German-based label Tsatsas, got into HRC's hands, literally, by way of Elizabeth Jeffer, founder and curator of online shop Roztayger. Jeffer, who's based in Clinton's home turf of Chappaqua, New York, had a feeling the piece, currently stocked on Roztayger, would be perfect (and practical) for the Democratic party nominee's demanding lifestyle, and she hooked it up thanks to her hometown connections.
"I had this idea a while ago, not to get press; I really felt like this particular collection is just perfect for her because it's so elegant and modern and minimal and kind of speaks to the image of a strong, powerful woman," Jeffer told Refinery29. "I saw her at the DNC in that cream suit and I was thinking about the color and I thought, It would be the perfect combination. And then I just sort of asked myself: How do I get it to her?"
After speaking with a Clinton staffer acquaintance, Jeffer packaged up the bag with a nice, long note of admiration and a bit of information about herself. Her friend then dropped it off to the Clinton's house manager, who lived about a mile away, and the rest is history. "Apparently, [Clinton] flipped out and loved it," Jeffer says. "I heard right away that she was very excited, and then Huma Abedin wrote me an email saying that [Clinton] had been using it since she got it and that it's just a beautiful working bag."
Now for the specifics: The piece is made of 100% calf leather with a 100% South Indian lamb nappa leather lining, which helps justify its steep $1,500 price tag. But according to Jeffer, it's a combination of factors that make it the No. 1 bag for busy professionals: "[Tsatas] handpicks all the leathers, so it's really beautiful quality. It's very soft to the touch, but it keeps its structure," she says. "It's incredibly lightweight — it's about two pounds empty, and it's a big bag — and then the zipper opens all the way around the three sides, so it literally opens itself up completely. And since it's got a soft construction, you can just pile whatever you want in there. It's very easy-access. That's what Huma was saying is a huge selling point — [Hillary] can put her laptop in there, her files, etc."
And last night, when Clinton stepped out of her SUV for the final presidential debate, Jeffer's ultimate vision became a reality. There she was, in another chic, cream Ralph Lauren suit, with Abedin carrying the pale gray bag right behind her. It was the perfect combination, indeed.
Ahead, click to shop this HRC-approved handbag for yourself, along with some similar options that are sure to be up to whatever challenge gets thrown your way.